The first sport utility vehicle wearing Chrysler badging, the Aspen was essentially a premium-grade version of the Dodge Durango. Available with rear-wheel drive as well as four-wheel drive configurations, the Chrysler Aspen came to market for the 2007 model year.
Propelling the Chrysler Aspen, two V-8 engine choices were offered on the upscale sport utility vehicle. The base powerplant for the 2007 Aspen was a 4.7-liter Magnum engine generating 235 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. The Magnum powerplant was also available as a flex-fuel engine capable of running E85-blended fuel. For peak performance, s 345-horsepower 5.7-liter V-8 HEMI engine was also available on the 2007 Chrysler Aspen. Five-speed automatic transmissions were linked to both V-8 engines.
Configured to seat up to eight passengers, the 2007 Chrysler Aspens cabin included standard features such as front and head side curtain airbags, air conditioning, cruise control as well as a universal garage door opener. For 2009, an all-wheel drive hybrid model of the Chrysler Aspen was introduced. The 2009 Aspen Hybrid used a two-mode transmission that was co-developed with General Motors and BMW in a technical alliance.
Containing four conventional gears, the two-mode transmission operated as a hybrid through a pair of electric motors fed through a 300-volt battery pack. Functioning similar to a continuously variable transmission, the Chrysler Aspen Hybrid arrived with gasoline power from the 5.7-liter HEMI engine. With minimal impact to the sport utility vehicles comfort and versatility (towing capacity was reduced from 8,600 to 6,000 pounds), the Aspen Hybrids fuel economy averaged out at an EPA-rated 21 miles per gallon.
Sales of the Chrysler Aspen was less than expected based on inflating gas prices and motorists generally losing favor with sport utility vehicles as car-like crossovers obtained greater popularity.